Recruitment specialist in HR & Human Capital Management

The Importance of Face-to-Face Recruitment in the Digital Age

There’s a lot of talk in recruitment about Artificial Intelligence short-listing, algorithms that find buzzwords in CVs, and Skype or FaceTime interviews. I can see why. I use appropriate technology all the time. Still, recruiters look for efficiencies, encouraging their people to do more phone interviews, saving costs on interview rooms, physical office locations and bought-in coffee.

That’s all great, but ultimately, people are people. Their interpersonal skills, characteristics, personality traits, desires and needs need to be assessed. I believe that Face-to-Face (F2F) meetings are hands-down the best way to do this. After all, 55% of any message is conveyed through nonverbal cues1.

What’s wrong with the phone?

On the phone, you can judge peoples’ communication skills, and of course, their phone skills. You receive no information at all from their visual physical cues, their body language, their basic relationship building skills such as hand shake, personal presentation, eye-contact, or their soft skills. You can’t even see the applicant’s eyes, noting where they look when thinking and talking, to see if they’re confident about what they’re saying or simply telling you what you want to hear.

What about Skype then?

Skype and FaceTime have more value, they are better than a phone call. If it’s physically impossible to meet, then we will revert to Skype or FaceTime interviewing, although our aim is that everyone who applies for a role will have a F2F meeting. The key point is that you just don’t build the same level of rapport and relationship with video chat.

The candidate’s perspective

For the candidate, F2F meetings mean that their needs are really understood, as they have more time and more access to the recruiter, to make sure the position is the right decision for them as well. Good employers care greatly about the quality of candidate experience, as it speaks volumes about them as a company.

The employer’s perspective

For the client to sit down with a candidate, meet them and get bought a coffee, while they spend time getting to know the individual, builds an extra level of relationship which enhances their experience of the candidate.

Face-to-Face equals better and more accurate short-listing. You have more certainty of getting the right person in the role, while saving employers’ time and money.

1 Mehrabian, A. (1972). Nonverbal Communication. New Brunswick: Aldine Transaction.

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